Issue - meetings

Pendell Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) Camp, Merstham

Meeting: 01/06/2021 - Cabinet (Item 108)

108 Pendell Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) Camp, Merstham pdf icon PDF 198 KB

This report is asking Cabinet to approve capital programme funding for the development of ten transient pitches for the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) community at the south site of Pendell GRT Camp, Merstham.

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources and Performance Select Committee]

 

N.B There is a Part 2 annex at Item 12.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That £1.2m of the £3.8m capital funding identified within the Capital Programme Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) Pipeline allocation for GRT Transit Site/Pendell Camp for consultant design, planning fees and preparatory works to deliver the proposed transit pitches is approved. The remaining £2.6m allowance will remain in the MTFS pipeline for further GRT Transit Site projects/works subject to future Cabinet approvals.

 

  1. That the procurement of appropriate supply chain partners for the delivery of all associated services required, in accordance with the Council’s Procurement and Contract Standing Orders is approved.
  2. That regarding the procurement of supply chain partners, the Executive Director of Resources and the Director of Land and Property are authorised to award such contracts that are within the +/-5% budgetary tolerance level.

Reasons for Decisions:

The decisions recommended in this report will contribute to enabling the Council to:

              i.        Provide much-needed, suitable accommodation for transit GRT communities in Surrey.

             ii.        Reduce repeated annual expenditure on resources associated with unauthorised seasonal transit encampments.

            iii.        Make an essential contribution towards the Council’s strategic objective to tackle health inequality, in line with the 2030 Community Vision to ensure no-one is left behind.

           iv.        Support the partnership between the Council and District and Borough Councils to improve and provide accommodation and facilities for the transit GRT community.

 

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources & Performance Select Committee]

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report explaining that across Surrey there had been an increase in unauthorised encampments from the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) community which had caused disruption to some local communities. Although work was being done with the police their powers were limited. Work had started three years ago to identify a transit site for the GRT community. The county council had offered land at Pendell Camp although it has no obligation to provide this. The site in question would give the police more powers and would involve a capital payment. The council was invested in working with the GRT community and had recently done a great piece of work around covid-19 vaccinations. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property introduced the report explaining that there was an urgent need to increase the provision of transit GRT facilities. The report asks for approval of £1.2m of £3.8m capital funding identified within the Capital Programme Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) Pipeline allocation for GRT Transit Site/Pendell Camp for consultant design, planning fees and preparatory works to deliver the proposed transit pitches. The district and boroughs would contribute to the revenue costs of the site with the GRT community paying a rent to stay on the site. The site would still need to be approved via the relevant planning processes.

 

There was support for the site and recognition of the benefits to the local community. The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources stated that unauthorised encampments cost councils a vast amount of money, including the costs for court injunctions and clean-up operations. In the last financial year the county council had spent £130k on unauthorised encampments countywide.

 

The Leader emphasised that each of the district and boroughs would contribute £100k to the site except for Tandridge which would be the host authority and that the district and boroughs would each be contributing to the annual running and maintenance costs. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That £1.2m of the £3.8m capital funding identified within the Capital Programme Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) Pipeline allocation for GRT Transit Site/Pendell Camp for consultant design, planning fees and preparatory works to deliver the proposed transit pitches is approved. The remaining £2.6m allowance will remain in the MTFS pipeline for further GRT Transit Site projects/works subject to future Cabinet approvals.

 

  1. That the procurement of appropriate supply chain partners for the delivery of all associated services required, in accordance with the Council’s Procurement and Contract Standing Orders is approved.
  2. That regarding the procurement of supply chain partners, the Executive Director of Resources and the Director of Land and Property are authorised to award such contracts that are within the +/-5% budgetary tolerance level.

Reasons for Decisions:

The decisions recommended in this report will contribute to enabling the Council to:

              i.        Provide much-needed, suitable accommodation for transit GRT communities in Surrey.

             ii.        Reduce repeated annual expenditure on resources associated with unauthorised seasonal transit encampments.

            iii.        Make an essential contribution towards the Council’s strategic objective to tackle health inequality,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108